• Text Alex James Taylor
  • 25th September 2016

Game, set and match

Perhaps Donatella Versace has been sat at home lounging on her Pamir sofa this summer enjoying the Rio Olympics (probably not, we aren’t convinced the prolific designer sits still very often) as her latest offering saw her embracing an athletic streak – translated via that signature sex appeal that defines her brand.

However, Donatella’s vision of sportswear is more dance floor than sports field. Functional materials such as ultra-lightweight nylon, transparent bonded waterproofs and drawstring pulls (that shaped frames to emphasised or pin back volume) were elevated to couture status, strapped with harness belts to contour silhouettes with dramatic effect. Sweatshirts and tank tops came with intricate and raw-edged lace trim whilst Versace crystal chain mail was embroidered across wrap dresses that shimmered like sun-kissed water.

Boasting a star-studded model cast including VS angels, the Hadid sisters and a certain Naomi Campbell, this was a show of female empowerment, echoed by the specially-written soundtrack: “Take the leap / We’ve got it all if we look for it deep inside.” 

“Sportswear is the future of fashion; to make it unique and luxurious is the challenge I took this season,” Donatella said in the show notes. With Serena Williams watching from the front row, the Italian designer was serving aces.